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Plum Scout earns Eagle rank with church projects

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader
Eagle Scout Patrick Caughey and Rev. Al Zapf of Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church take a seat in the garden in front of the church. One of Patrick's Eagle Scout projects was building two benches in the garden. He also replaced the mailbox post and patched four lamp post bases in the parking lot.

When Patrick Caughey was searching for a community service project as he worked toward his Eagle Award, he didn't have to look far.

Caughey, 16, a member of Boy Scout Troop 111, sponsored by the Holiday Park United Methodist Church in Plum, spoke with officials at Our Lady of Joy Parish about the needs of the church.

The Scout, a member and altar server at the church, went to the right place.

Caughey, along with volunteers from his troop, spent 321 hours between July and October of last year on a few projects.

His successful completion of the projects, in addition to meeting other requirements, resulted in Caughey being designated an Eagle Scout.

Caughey's Eagle Scout Court of Honor is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 11 at the Holiday Park United Methodist Church.

Caughey and the volunteers patched up the four lamp post bases in the church parking lot with cement then repainted them with yellow traffic paint.

They also removed the old mailbox at the church. Caughey had a new mailbox constructed to replace the old one to fit the height requirement.

The group built two wooden cypress benches that were placed near the Holy Mother statue in the church garden.

The last part of his project was the creation of three directional signs.

“They were much needed for ease of direction to the various offices for the parishioners,” Caughey said.

The Rev. Albert Zapf, church pastor, appreciated Caughey's work.

“It seemed like there was no limit to what he (Caughey) wanted to do,” Zapf said. “He bubbles over with kindness to others.”

Caughey said he will continue to participate in activities with Troop 111. In particular, he plans to go to summer camp with the other Boy Scouts.

Caughey said his most memorable summer camp experience occurred two years ago when he performed first aid on a Scout's father after the man sustained a head wound when a limb broke off a tree and fell on his tent.

Caughey also accompanied the man, Jeffrey Burnett, of Plum to the hospital.

“He seemed to be beyond his years,” Burnett said after the incident. “He's like a natural born leader. He knew what he needed to do, and he did it. He has a calming presence.

Caughey, a sophomore at Plum High School, plans to study engineering after graduation. He also aspires to enlist in the military.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or

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